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Counter Mentor Leadership
33 minutes | May 27, 2019
CM47 Are Millennials Good for Business?
If you're a Boomer, you're rolling your eyes....but, since Millennials make up the largest segment of the workplace these days, it's a legitimate question. Although we hear a lot these days about Millennial "snowflakes" and their participation trophies, what does the research say about the impact Millennials have on the workplace? Yes, as painful as it may be for the BOSS, it's time to get some real data-driven insight into the impact of Millennials on the modern workplace. As it turns out, what Millennials want at work isn't so different from what other generations have wanted, but what they bring to the workplace IS quite different, in many ways. So, are they good for business? Oh, and let's not forget that the youngest Millennials are in their mid-20s and the oldest among them are pushing 40. That means they aren't the new kids on the block anymore. There are now Millennial managers, and the mistakes that they are making as leaders aren't that different from their older counterparts. Luckily, there's research on that, too. Join Kelly and Robby as they examine the latest research on the impact of Millennials in the workplace and try not to get sidetracked by a few good rants along the way.
31 minutes | Apr 28, 2019
CM146 Is it a Waste of Time to Understand the BOSS?
Millennials often struggle to figure out the BOSS. In many cases they don't even bother, and that's the question in this episode: Is it a waste of time to even attempt to understand the old, out-of-touch, technology-challenged BOSS? Scene: A group of Millennials get together at Happy Hour and before long they're talking about the BOSS: "Dude. My boss is killin' me. What a disaster." Yup. They don't understand you. They think they know everything. They don't have a clue about pop culture, and are trying to tell you how to do your job, and don't give you any feedback. What's the point of sticking around? It's a good question. But here's an even better question: Have you even tried to understand your boss? Have you ever tried to connect and find out what's important to him/her? Maybe, instead of griping about the BOSS, the really smart move (the one that demonstrates a little emotional intelligence) might be to try and understand them first? To work hard to make their job a little easier? Join Kelly and Robby as they break down the over-generalizations and the bad communication that prevent Millennials and Boomers from connecting at work. And stay tuned until the end for a set of principles that can help Millennials maximize their success in the workplace.
30 minutes | Apr 7, 2019
CM145 Are Extroverts Better Leaders Than Introverts?
There seems to be an assumption that leadership requires certain personality traits. Perhaps not surprisingly, we all feel more comfortable following someone who is charismatic, decisive, and outgoing. Research confirms our intuition--even children know instinctually what kinds of people tend to get placed in leadership roles. So, we tend to assume that the best leaders are the best talkers--that extroverts make the best leaders. But is that necessarily true? Join Kelly and Robby as they discuss our biases about leadership, what it looks like, and how leaders behave. More importantly, stick around as they share how the habits of great leaders can be cultivated by anyone with the discipline and desire to excel.
38 minutes | Mar 9, 2019
CM144 Are Employees Holding You Hostage?
We've all got stories of coworkers behaving badly. It seems like we've come to accept drama as a condition of existing in the workplace. But what happens when some people's nonsense get punished but top earners get a pass? Obviously, it's a recipe for disaster--and a real crisis of leadership. Join Kelly and Robby as they discuss a high-profile example of a talented performer getting away with bad behavior in the world of sports. As always, the difference between a winning culture and team dysfunction might just be good coaching.
35 minutes | Feb 10, 2019
CML 143: More (or Less) Emotional Intelligence
Bad behavior didn't use to be so public! But now, social media has made it possible for people to throw temper tantrums on a scale we could never imagine just a few years back. More and more, conflict gets played out on public platforms rather than between people. It's too easy to get a daily does of public conflict courtesy of major league sports. Professional athletes and organizations have become quite adept at airing their dirty laundry all over the media. It's not only unprofessional and immature, it also provides the perfect reflection of the kinds of conflict that happen in the workplace for those of us who ride a desk, not a bench. In this episode, Kelly and Robby examine recent examples of team conflict from the world of sports and discuss the vital role of emotional intelligence in building a high-performance team.
36 minutes | Jan 23, 2019
CM 142 The Source of Workplace Failure You Don't Recognize
It's too easy to simply dismiss emotional intelligence as something you are too busy to consider. After all, where is the return on investment for these so-called "soft skills"? That's an easy question to answer, and the numbers are scary! EQ is vitally important to workplace success, especially for leaders! In this episode, find out why you cannot afford to ignore this hidden source of workplace failure.
30 minutes | Mar 11, 2018
CM141 Your Friend Requests Are Annoying
How much time do you waste sending unsolicited LinkedIn requests or circulating awkwardly at networking events? How often do you roll your eyes when you get a Friend Request from someone you haven't seen since high school who now wants to sell you something? Ever experienced that clammy sweat that comes with delivering your "elevator speech" in an attempt to dazzle a captive stranger in a few nauseating minutes? If the very idea of networking makes you cringe, you are going to want to hear some good news from our guest, David Burkus, author of Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Your Career: Those methods DO NOT WORK. Ok, great. So... what do we do now? Join Kelly and Robby on this new episode as they learn all the best strategies from David for networking now. Find out his best advice for maximizing your existing network and finally let yourself off the hook for skipping those cocktail hours with strangers.
37 minutes | Feb 18, 2018
CM140 Coaching for Leaders
Coaching is, for many managers, a highly under appreciated skill. It is usually assumed that anyone who is good at something, when promoted to manager, will naturally be good at teaching and coaching those skills. Not so much. Teaching and coaching are powerful skills that have to be learned just as much as the skills that get managers promoted. And those skills will make you a far more effective leader. In this episode, Kelly and Robby are joined by perennial champion football coach, Bill Blankenship to talk coaching for leaders in the workplace. Coach Blankenship has won everywhere. He has coached two Oklahoma 6A schools to state championship titles (Union and Owasso). He coached Fayetteville High School to an Arkansas 7A football state championship in his only year there. To top it off, he spent four seasons as the head coach of his alma mater, the University of Tulsa, finishing 19-8 with a Liberty Bowl championship in his first two years, before falling to 5-19 his final two years. Hear Bill's tips for coaching through failure, setting expectations, how to create a winning culture, and much more. Learn how effective coaching unlocks the potential of your people and try to tune out the boys geeking out in the presence of a legend.
35 minutes | Jan 28, 2018
CM139 Greatest of All Time
What does it mean to be the Greatest of All Time (the GOAT, as the kids say)? The GOAT may be a spectacular performer, but he or she also has that quality that makes other people want to be part of the magic. We know great leadership when we see it: Abraham Lincoln, Catherine the Great, Winston Churchill. Great political leaders guide their people through turmoil. Great leaders on the court or on the field (GO PATS!) create teams that work seamlessly toward a common goal. In the workplace, great leaders inspire us and bring out the best in us. So, yeah, we may recognize it immediately, but great leadership is hard to define and even harder to teach. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. What are the principles that great leaders know? What are the practices that great leadership employs? Join Kelly and Robby as they discuss a recent example of great leadership and share the lessons that anyone can take into the workplace. (Also, find out the easiest way to get your hometown team into a national championship. Hint: it involves Robby moving there.)
33 minutes | Jan 14, 2018
CM138 Another Book About Millennials (a Shameless Plug)
Our new book, Counter Mentor Leadership: How to Unlock the Potential of the 4-Generation Workplace, releases on January 16! But another book about Millennials? REALLY? Well, hold on, cupcake. Yes, there are a lot of leadership books out there and lots of books about Millennials. We've read them all--well, that is, the Pops has read a lot of them, and Robby has read some Tweets about a lot of them. We've done the research, and we have over two decades invested in helping leaders transform potential into performance, regardless of generation. You definitely haven't seen anything like Counter Mentor Leadership. #snarky #sarcastic #truth In other words, this isn't your grandparents' old-school approach to management. It’s definitely not #anotherboringleadershipbook. Counter Mentor Leadership is about harnessing the power of the tech-infected Millennials and the new GenZ. It’s about building a powerhouse, 4-generation workplace. And Boomers, if you think we're here to pat you on the head and send you on your way, you're in for a shock. Your old-school, because-I-said-so antics just aren't cutting it. #straighttalk Join Kelly and Robby as they discuss their new book, how it came to be, and why you should put it at the top of your reading list.
32 minutes | Dec 17, 2017
CM137 Boomer Fact or Fiction
Set in their ways. Technophobes. Coasting until retirement. Their way or the highway. You think you have Boomers all figured out, don't you? Think again. After arguing their way through all the stereotypes about Millennials in "Millennial Fact or Fiction," it was only fair that the boys take on all the assumptions that we bring to the table about Boomers. Raised to be hard working and risk averse by their parents who survived the Great Depression and World War, Boomers see themselves as stable and responsible. Millennials, on the other hand, often see them as old fuddy-duddies who aren't willing to try anything new. (Though the Pops doesn't see how pictures of your lunch represent anything useful and innovative, snowflake.) Join Kelly and Robby as they pick apart what you think you know about Boomers and explain how generational--and relational--understanding is the key to unlocking the potential of the four-generation workplace.
30 minutes | Dec 3, 2017
CM136 140 Characters is Bad for the Workplace (LOL)
140 characters has become the standard for social media conversations, but it's certainly playing havoc with communication in the corporate world. Email. Text. FB Messenger. With more communication tools than ever before, communication has nevertheless not improved. In fact, it's probably worse than ever. In this episode of the Counter Mentors podcast, Kelly and Robby take on workplace communication and the many ways in which it completely sucks. From 140 characters to poor writing skills to managers who don't have a clue how to communicate, this episode gets a little bloody!
21 minutes | Nov 19, 2017
CM135 How Did You Get Promoted?!
Were you recently promoted? Would you say it's going well? Too often, new managers find themselves scrambling to lead in the same field where they were once dominant. That's because the way companies promote people to positions of leadership usually has little to do with the skills that will make them successful as leaders. Yeah, we said it. They're doing it wrong. While competence is absolute necessary for credibility as a leader, it's just the baseline. The price of entry. Table stakes. The important question is what does it really take to be successful as a manager? If you want to be one, you need to know. If you want to promote the right people, you really need to know. In this episode of the Counter Mentors podcast, Kelly and Robby take a close look at the flawed reasoning that gets most people promoted to management and suggest some changes you might want to consider the next time you look for someone to fill a management slot.
31 minutes | Nov 1, 2017
CM134 Millennial Fact or Fiction
You've heard a lot of generalizations about Millennials and Millennial employees, in particular. There are a million articles about them. There are books about how to understand them. Everyone seems to think they have a handle on Millennials and their behavior. But what exactly is the truth about Millennials, and what is exaggerated? In this episode of the Counter Mentors podcast, Kelly and Robby look at many of the claims made about Millennials and tell you if they are based on facts, or simply fictions created by people who don't understand them.
27 minutes | Oct 15, 2017
CM133 Who Raised These Cupcakes?
Cupcakes. Is that Pops' favorite term for Millennials? Or is it snowflakes? OK, we'll allow that Millennials are different. They ask for more flexibility and personal attention (ahem, FEEDBACK) than any generation before them, but does that make them "soft," as some Boomers claim? Or is it more accurate to say that Millennials are a product of their helicopter parents and the technology they were raised around? Research has increasingly shown how kids raised with technology as a constant companion experience problems in young adulthood with social interactions. Still, even if all this is true, at what point do Millennials have to move on from how they were raised and own their behaviors? After spending their childhoods being protected from failure and allowed to "find themselves," Millennials often struggle in work situations that don't allow them to do whatever they want or craft a unique, personal experience. How much should they conform to the workplace? Why should work be what they want it to be? In this episode of the Counter Mentors podcast, Kelly and Robby explore these questions and much more. Are Millennials (and Gen Z) really that different than Boomers were at their age?
28 minutes | Sep 24, 2017
CM132 You Cant Be Efficient with People
Managers never have enough time, so they do their best to be efficient, even with people. The problem is that you can't be efficient with people! Developing your people takes time. In many ways, leadership is about changing the way you invest your available time. Join Kelly and Robby as they continue with this second episode about the value of recognition (and don't miss the amazing first episode, "Recognition is for Everyone, Boomers").
29 minutes | Sep 10, 2017
CM131 Recognition is for Everyone
Boomers often complain about how Millennials always want to be recognized, even if it's just for doing their jobs. But the truth is that everyone values recognition! Appreciation, feedback, and coaching cost you nothing and go a long way toward increasing productivity and satisfaction in the workplace. So, why aren't you doing it?! According to Gallup, "only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days.” Clearly, we have a recognition deficit, and we need to find ways to engage all employees -- Boomers and Millennials -- in ways that make them feel valued. Join Kelly and Robby as they welcome special guest Jeremy Todd Ford, VP of Talent at United Natural Foods Incorporated, to discuss the next frontier in recognition at work. You can't afford to get this one wrong.
28 minutes | Aug 27, 2017
CM130 Do Cell Phones Ruin Relationships?
Yes, your cell phone is integral to your daily life. Yes, you know you are on it too much. Boomers tell young people they suck at social interactions because they only know how to communicate through text, and Millennials may think there is some truth to that. But does it ruin your relationships? Actually, according to recent research, 52% of Millennials think technology has improved their relationships. People meet their future spouses on dating sites, right? On the other hand, 57% of Boomers say cell phones ruin relationships. So, who is right? It's not just your girlfriend or your mother that you ignore when your nose is pressed against your phone. Even at work, the trust and communication that is vital to a successful team is becoming impossible to build because everyone -- that includes you, Boomers(!) -- can't seem to keep that screen turned off. Your problem becomes everyone's problem when it impacts your performance (and, thus, the performance of the team!). Join Kelly and Robby as they investigate the impact of technology on personal and professional relationships and the differences between how Boomers and Millennials "do" relationships.
44 minutes | Jul 23, 2017
CM129 How to Coach (and be coached by) Millennials
It seems like every Boomer manager is trying to learn how to coach Millennials...or something. On rare occasions, the enlightened Boomer manager can actually see the value in being coached BY a Millennial. In this phenomenal episode, we are joined by the incomparable Tim Sanders (@sandersays) for a discussion about how to coach Millennials...and the insane idea (to some managers, at least) of being coached by Millennials. Tim, a former Yahoo! executive, is the NY Times best-selling author of Love is the Killer App and Dealstorming: The Secret Weapon That Can Save Your Toughest Sales Challenges. Describing himself as "obsessed" with the idea of mentorship, he shares his wisdom about what the mentor stands to gain from the relationship-- in other words, what Boomers can learn from Millennials! Join Kelly and Robby as they enjoy a stimulating conversation with Tim about respecting the wisdom of the older generation and staying open-minded to the insights and ideas of the younger generation.
31 minutes | Jul 2, 2017
CM128 Millennials Make Better Leaders
Who makes better leaders, Boomers or Millennials? Boomers may think they are the only ones getting anything done, and Millennials may think they are the only ones who know how to inspire, but it turns out these are both key elements of effective leadership. Research indicates that the most effective leaders are those who can produce results and have excellent people skills. And, according to that same research, it appears that Millennials (gasp!) actually make better leaders. (Though, as the Pops points out, those Millennials were raised by Boomers, so who REALLY deserves the credit here?) Join Kelly and Robby as they dissect this recent research in the spirit of friendly competition--and discuss what you should be doing now to be a more effective leader.
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